Mancora, Peru: scuba diving, beach and relaxation

Two night buses in a row with some lack of sleep meant time to relax by the pool and beach in Mancora. The main purpose for my visit was to chill and Scuba Dive. There’s not much more than plenty of tourists, markets, street food and many places to drink something refreshing. Our hostel was a party place with a resort pool and sunbeds to lounge on with is totally what I needed for the next few days.

we had arrived in Mancora at around 6 in the morning, we took a tuk tuk to our hostel, which ended up being a lovely party resort with a pool and a place to relax. Just what we needed! As we couldn’t check in yet, we lounged in a hammock until the restaurants were open. Then we wandered along the beach to find something to eat, where we ordered breakfast We stayed here for a while watching the children in the café playing with toys and lying in a hammock with a coffee. After we checked in.

During the afternoon, we la[004016]id in the sun by the pool getting a tan, which I was in need of as I hadn’t had much sun while being in South America. We walked along the beach, eating fruit, then searched for a place to book a scuba diving trip for the following day. This was  one thing I wanted to do while I was here even though it wasn’t a popular destination to do this.

In the evening, we just relaxed, talked to people and had a drink before heading to bed. The hostel was a party hostel so there was loud music playing for most of the night. However, I was so exhausted that I just fell asleep with any problem.

The next day, we got up early to go to the scuba diving centre. Even though my friend didn’t scuba dive, she came for the boat ride and enjoyed some snorkelling. She was extremely scared of the water but overcome her fears with the help of the guides and managed to swim and admire the sea creatures.

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Along with the guide and one other guy, we assembled our equipment and jumped into the water. The first location was an abandoned tower with just the frames. We swam around, diving deeper and looking at octopus, sergent fish, sea lions, a brittle star and many more sea creatures. I tried to swim through several obstacles, which at first I was successful but then I panicked slightly, causing me to worry and breathe heavily. I managed to calm myself down under the water and carried on swimming. When our air was running out, we resurfaced and relaxed on the boat, which took us to our next location.

Again, we dived down but this time the visibility was so bad that I couldn’t see more than 10 cm in front on me so my dive master held my hand and guide me in the correct direction. There was nothing. We were only about 8m down, extremely close to the sandy ground. After a while, he gave and we all resurfaced to the top of the ocean, where our boat collected us. Then we tried again. This time the visibility was better and we swam around the bottom of the ocean looking at varies fish and coral: octopus, trumpet fish, puffer fish, angel fish, butterfly fish, high hat fish, panana pork fish, frog fish and a star fish. After about 30 minutes, we slowly came back up to breathe normal air. Our boat collected us and then we chilled while the boat took us back to shore. Near the shore, we saw and swam with several huge turtles and different birds.

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We carried our equipment back to the van and drove back to the dive centre. It was great fun diving around again even though the locations weren’t great. I still need to perfect my diving skills but I feel like I am getting better.

In the afternoon, we first went back to the hostel to have a shower, pack and check out. Then we tried to look for a shop selling bus tickets, where we ended up waiting in a café, drinking a coffee and I spoke with my sister on skype. Eventually, we found and open shop and purchased a ticket for that night. After, we laid by the pool in the hostel, drinking some cocktails and talking to some other travellers.

Early evening, we searched for some street food then went to the hostel to listening to other singing karaoke. It was a mixture of Spanish and English songs, which was fun. When it was time to leave, we got a tuk tuk to the bus shop. This time the bus was full of mainly gringos wanting to enter Ecuador. It was time to leave Peru. This is a beautiful country with so many things to offer and do, with delicious food and landscapes. It was definitely an amazing 3 weeks, where I met some incredible travellers and experienced so many things. I would have stayed here long but by this time, I had just found out my start date for my job in Colombia so I needed to get a move on and explore the next country: Ecuador.DCIM122GOPRO

On the bus, we drove to the border of Ecuador, which wasn’t too far but it was late at night so I was feeling sleepy. At the border, we lined up to be stamped out of Peru and into Ecuador. It was a really easy process with no hassle at all. Back on the bus, I slept until we reached Cuenca. We were originally going to stay here for the day then get another night bus to Banos but instead, as we were feeling exhausted, we decided just to get a day bus there. We quickly bought a ticket before the bus was leaving and took our seat. It dropped us off just outside of Banos, where we had to get another bus to the town. It was easy enough. Eventually, after 15 hours of travelling, we arrived in Banos, where we found our hostel and relaxed for a bit.

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